The following information is a quick guide to the questions parents frequently ask.
Paideia Academy is an instrument to assist Christian parents in carrying out the biblical mandate to bring up their children in the paideia (training and admonition) of the Lord. We employ the Western classical tradition of learning, rooted in a distinctly Christian worldview, to cultivate godly affections and wisdom in our students in order to graduate virtuous men and women, whose love of Christ advances the Kingdom of God.
Total Enrollment: 215
Lower School: 146
Upper School: 69
Average Class Sizes:
1st & 2nd: 11
3rd – 6th: 17
7th – 12th: 12
Pre-K, K, 1st & 2nd: 9:1
3rd – 12th: 12:1
We are conveniently located in west Knoxville at 10825 Yarnell Road near Lovell Road and Pellissippi Parkway.
Our 15-acre campus development began in 2006 and is expanding in gradual and purposeful phases to accommodate the school’s continued growth.
- Pre-K: 8:00 am–12:00 pm Tuesday & Thursday
- Kindergarten-6th Grade: 8:00 am–3:10 pm Monday-Friday
- 7th-12th Grade: 8:00 am–3:25 pm Monday-Friday
- University Schedule Students (K-3): 8:00 am–3:10 pm M, W, F
Please note: classes begin promptly at 8:00 am. An earlier arrival allows your student time to prepare for the day. Doors open at 7:45 am M-F.
- 7:45 am–3:30 pm Monday-Friday
Early Dismissal Schedule:
- All Grades: 8:00 am–12:00 pm
We do not offer daily afterschool care, but from time to time throughout the school year, we offer specific afterschool courses. See a listing of available activities.
If you need a regular program, we are near the pickup route for Camp Big Fish. If you are interested, please contact Camp Big Fish to make arrangements. We are not affiliated with Camp Big Fish programs.
Our school offers a full academic program for Pre-K through 12th grade and a homeschool umbrella program for grades K-8.
Paideia maintains membership in the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS). Our school is not accredited in order to give us the most flexibility in our curriculum and hiring practices. We are considered a Category IV Church-related Exempted School by the State of Tennessee.
We have not found this to be a limiting factor in our graduates’ matriculation to the colleges of their choice.
Paideia Academy (pronounced pie-day-uh) takes its name from the Bible in Ephesians 6:4, where the apostle Paul exhorts fathers to bring up their children in the “training (paideia) and admonition of the Lord.” This concept, the paideia of the Lord, involves an all-encompassing education of a citizen of God’s kingdom. Paideia Academy is not affiliated with Mortimer Adler’s “Paideia Proposal” or the related Paideia schools.
Our school community thrives on parent participation. We strongly encourage parental involvement and have purposefully structured our program to engage parents. We love for you to be active in the classrooms, volunteer for school events, and visit with the teachers regularly. Check out our volunteer opportunities.
Paideia Academy is a distinctly Christian institution that is committed to the Word of God, the Bible, as the foundation and guide for all we do. We are not associated with any particular denomination or local church. Our Statement of Faith is reflective of historic, biblical Christianity. We have students from numerous area churches of varying denominations. We do require that at least one parent of each family be a professing Christian for admission.
State certification is not a requirement for employment at our school. We are a different kind of academic institution with a different set of standards for our teachers. Our teachers must be active and faithful Christians, have a true love for teaching children, be committed to the classical model of education, have a love of learning and a passion for their subjects. Our teachers generally possess a bachelors degree; two-thirds have graduate degrees, and others are pursuing graduate studies. View our current faculty and staff and employment opportunities..
We set standards that will stretch students of all abilities to reach their fullest potential intellectually and spiritually. This means setting the bar high in a way that is both accessible to the average student and challenging to the academically gifted student.
While we do not teach to a test, our students are regularly tested in aptitude, basic skills, concepts, and reading comprehension using nationally recognized standardized tests.
All students in grades 2, 4, 6 and 8 take the ERB CTP (Comprehensive Testing Program) assessment test in the spring. CTP is a reasoning/achievement test battery that is available to more than 1,600 ERB-member public and independent schools. It is designed as a challenging test to measure learning and distinguish achievement even among the higher-level students.
We are a registered testing site for the Classic Learning Test, which our students take in 11th grade, as well as the CLT-8 for 6th, 7th and, 8th graders and the CLT-10 for 9th and 10th graders. This test provides the most accurate and rigorous measure of academic formation, accomplishment, and potential for classically-trained students.
All 11th grade students take the College Board’s PSAT test in October. This test also serves as the National Merit Qualifying Test (NMSQT). The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT, and gives 11th grade students a chance to enter scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills.
Most of our high school students also take the the ACT and/or SAT.
Students with learning differences may be admitted to Paideia provided they meet all regular admissions requirements and are capable of functioning successfully in our classroom setting. Under the oversight of our Assessment & Accommodations Program Coordinator (AAPC), Paideia may make certain accommodations to assist these students, provided their learning disabilities have been clearly diagnosed by a licensed and certified education diagnostician. Securing a diagnosis will be the responsibility of the parents. The parents may also be responsible, financial and otherwise, for providing any and all special equipment, supplies, and tutors needed to accommodate the student.
Paideia reserves the right to decline any accommodation to a student with a diagnosed learning disability.
Our students receive weekly instruction in specials including music, band, art, theatre, and physical education. Upper School students also participate in intramural activities through their halls.
We are increasingly providing opportunities as our student body grows. We offer several sports (cross country, volleyball, basketball, soccer), clubs (climbing, robotics, board games), band, theatre, and student government. Our students also regularly participate in community service both on and off campus.
Upper School students in 7th-12th grade will need access to a computer with an internet connection and a printer at home. These students may bring their own device (Chromebook, laptop, or tablet) to school to allow for classroom writing, research, and collaborating as directed by the faculty. Any other student use of electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, is prohibited on campus during school hours.
Technology is not heavily integrated into the Paideia curriculum.
Parents of students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade may select a 3-day university schedule option to attend classes at Paideia on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and do school work at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Teachers will send home lesson plans and assignment packets for these work-at-home days. The packets are parent-friendly and contain all of the instructions, assignments, and details for the day’s work which mirrors the 5-day students’ day in the classroom. Parents of younger children need to work hands-on with their children during this time, while parents of older students may act more as monitors since these students are expected to work independently. Typically younger students have four hours of work to complete each Tuesday and Thursday, while older students may have up to six or seven hours of work these days. Specials classes (art, music, and PE) scheduled on Tu/Th for the 5-day students do not have at-home work. Parents may wish to supplement by adding their own activities in these areas.
After you become familiar with our school via our website, the next step is to schedule a school visit. From there our admissions staff will explain the procedure and direct you to the online application.
This is really where we learn more about you and your child and can have deeper conversations with you about whether or not this is a good mutual fit. Our online portal guides you through the paperwork. Upon receipt of your completed application, the school office will contact you to schedule a student assessment and family interview with our headmaster. The application doesn’t lock you in – it simply opens the door to explore this option more fully.
Accepted applicants will then go into our waiting pool. After current families are re-enrolled, we will invite applicants from our waiting pool to accept any open spots. For more information, please review the Admissions section of our website or contact our school office.
Many parents are concerned about the transition, but we find that most transfer students adjust readily to the new approach and new curriculum. Although some encounter challenges with the higher standards, the school takes a reasonable approach to new students, allowing them ample opportunity to adjust and catch up as needed. When asked about their experience, transfer students report that their teachers and classmates are very supportive and will help them as needed.
We do not consider transfers for rising seniors unless the student is relocating from outside the area and has been recently enrolled at another classical Christian school.
While we do accept mid-year applications, our standards and curriculum may make it difficult for students to begin classes during the middle of the school year. All mid-year transitions will be carefully evaluated with the student’s ability to succeed in view.
- Pre-K: $2,340
- Kindergarten: $9,840
- 1st-6th Grade: $10,200
- 7th-12th Grade: $10,500
- University Schedule Students (K-3): $8,940
Paideia Academy does not charge additional fees for facilities, books, or field trips, although Omnibus students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of their reading books. Co-curricular program fees may be additional. Uniforms and supplies are purchased separately.
Large Family Discount:
- 4th Tuition: 50% off
- 5th Tuition and over: Free
We encourage any family that is concerned about their ability to afford a Paideia education to apply for tuition assistance.
Paideia Academy offers financial aid to qualified families with students in grades 1–12 (Pre-K and Kindergarten students are not eligible for financial aid). Paideia utilizes a third-party, Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), to help determine how much aid the school will provide. Application is made to FAST online after a student has been accepted for enrollment.
Please check with the office for application requirements and deadlines.
Our students wear school uniforms. A detailed list of specific clothing items and suppliers for these uniforms may be obtained from the school office. Land’s End and Educational Outfitters are the vendors for the primary items in the uniform list; shoes and accessories may be purchased wherever desired.
Monday through Thursday, students will bring a lunch from home. Brief microwave use (under 3 minutes) is available to students 4th grade and up who can independently heat their own items.
Each Friday, the school offers a hot lunch option served by parent volunteers. Monthly orders are placed online and billed through the office.